Eric Deggans

Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.

Deggans came to NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times, where he served a TV/Media Critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. A journalist for more than 20 years, he is also the author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, a look at how prejudice, racism and sexism fuels some elements of modern media, published in October 2012, by Palgrave Macmillan.

Deggans is also currently a media analyst/contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. In August 2013, he guest hosted CNN's media analysis show Reliable Sources, joining a select group of journalists and media critics filling in for departed host Howard Kurtz. The same month, Deggans was awarded the Florida Press Club's first-ever Diversity award, honoring his coverage of issues involving race and media. He received the Legacy award from the National Association of Black Journalists' A&E Task Force, an honor bestowed to "seasoned A&E journalists who are at the top of their careers." And in 2019, he was named winner of the American Sociological Association's Excellence in the Reporting of Social Justice Issues Award.

In 2019, Deggans served as the first African American chairman of the board of educators, journalists and media experts who select the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media.

He also has joined a prestigious group of contributors to the first ethics book created in conjunction with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies for journalism's digital age: The New Ethics of Journalism, published in August 2013, by Sage/CQ Press.

From 2004 to 2005, Deggans sat on the then-St. Petersburg Times editorial board and wrote bylined opinion columns. From 1997 to 2004, he worked as TV critic for the Times, crafting reviews, news stories and long-range trend pieces on the state of the media industry both locally and nationally. He originally joined the paper as its pop music critic in November 1995. He has worked at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Press newspapers in Pennsylvania.

Now serving as chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists, he has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association and on the board of the Mid-Florida Society of Professional Journalists.

Additionally, he worked as a professional drummer in the 1980s, touring and performing with Motown recording artists The Voyage Band throughout the Midwest and in Osaka, Japan. He continues to perform with area bands and recording artists as a drummer, bassist and vocalist.

Deggans earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and journalism from Indiana University.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

"Saturday Night Live" has fired cast member Shane Gillis just four days after they announced he was hired. Gillis used racist and homophobic language on a podcast that he co-hosted. NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans is on the line with me. Hi, Eric.

It's an old tradition that endures, even amid the year-round deluge of programming brought to us by the age of streaming. It is the fall TV preview.

Turns out fall is the perfect time to refocus on television after a summer filled with vacations and outdoor distractions. So our pop culture team collected the coolest TV shows coming your way over the next few months as a guide through the madness. We haven't seen all of these programs yet, but we've learned enough to know they're worth checking out.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Tim Conway built a career playing goofballs who rarely took center stage — but he often helped turn good television shows into TV classics. The comic actor, who appeared on shows ranging from The Carol Burnett Show to SpongeBob SquarePants, died Tuesday morning, May 14. The cause was complications from a long illness, according to his representative, Howard Bragman. He was 85.

HBO's Leaving Neverland is ultimately a tribute to the power of personal testimony.

Over four hours, the film slowly excavates the stories of James Safechuck and Wade Robson. The two men each met Michael Jackson as children in the 1980s and allege the pop star sexually abused them for years while showering their families with attention and gifts.

Pepsi should have chosen a different slogan for its ads during this year's Super Bowl.

The company's slogan was "More than OK." Well, not really. In fact, most of the high-priced commercials we saw between the football plays were just OK. They were so careful to avoid scandal and backlash that they felt leached of originality or bite.

That's pretty much what Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America, predicted when I asked him last week what this year's spots would look like: nothing controversial.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The telecast of last night's Emmy awards included a touching moment that didn't have a lot to do with anyone winning anything.

(SOUNBITE OF 70TH ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS TELECAST)

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Emmy Awards air tonight on NBC, celebrating the best work in television. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans worries they might not get it right. So he's come up with his own awards - the Deggys (ph).

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The character Jim Carrey plays on his new TV show just might remind you of someone else you've seen on television over the years. This is how he's described in the first episode when he visits Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Roseanne Barr has just given a master class on how not to apologize for a massive public flameout.

Appearing on Fox News pundit Sean Hannity's show Thursday, Barr claimed the backlash over a widely condemned racist tweet that led to ABC canceling her show was a huge misunderstanding.

The tweet implied that senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ape. Barr's defense? She didn't know Jarrett — who was born in Iran to American parents — was an African-American woman.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen premiered a new show last night on Showtime. It's called "Who Is America?" In the show, Cohen dresses up as different outrageous characters, all of whom go out and explore who is America. Now, this is a shtick he's used before in movies and TV. You probably remember Ali G or Borat. Cohen interviews real people, and he tries to get them to say wild things on camera. In this particular show, his characters include a guy wearing an NPR shirt.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "WHO IS AMERICA?")

Disney has moved one step closer to purchasing a big chunk of 21st Century Fox. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced it had approved the proposed deal, valued at a total $71.3 billion.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now that ABC's Roseanne reboot has wrapped up its unexpectedly successful nine-episode run, it's worth asking a simple question:

What just happened?

What didn't happen was what some pundits feared when the show debuted: ABC positioning a hit TV show to embrace and normalize what they believe are the worst aspects of Donald Trump's ideology. Instead, star Roseanne Barr used her personal support for the president and the character's admission she voted for Trump to pull off the TV season's most masterful head fake.

Finally, we no longer have to use the word "allegedly."

A court of law has delivered a verdict that the court of public opinion seemed to have already reached: Bill Cosby, 80, has been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, resulting from allegations first made by Andrea Constand back in 2005.

The public eventually saw more than 60 women accuse "America's dad" of sexual misconduct and assault, with many alleging he surreptitiously drugged them first. This is the first of those stories to get a verdict.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Olivia Pope is about to handle her final crisis. She's the fictional political fixer at ABC drama "Scandal," which airs its final episode tonight. Here's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans.

Be warned: The review below contains plenty of spoilers about past and present episodes of Billions.

The biggest problem Showtime's Billions has: It's a show that is way too easy to underestimate.

At a time when income inequality and the struggles of the middle class are front-page news, it's tough to lionize a show about a millionaire U.S. attorney in an all-consuming personal and professional grudge match with a billionaire hedge fund owner.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Last night, for the first time, TV viewers saw a 2006 interview where O.J. Simpson talked about the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "O.J. SIMPSON: THE LOST CONFESSION?")

Critics tend to judge Olympics coverage by a few key metrics: How many mistakes did the commentators make, and how many people are actually watching the games in prime time?

When it comes to NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, the first category has a couple of doozies, such as the network declaring a winner of the women's super-G Alpine skiing event before all the competitors had skied, including the actual winner.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Super Bowl LII was a terrific football game, especially if you're an Eagles fan. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans was watching for the halftime show and the commercials between the plays on the field.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LII)

Review: 'The Alienist'

Jan 22, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And a new series is debuting tonight on TNT. "The Alienist" is the story of a group of sleuths in the 19th century on the hunt for a serial killer. It's based on the best-selling novel. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says the show is really an attempt by TNT to redefine its brand.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Pages